Kids and Dogs – a comparison of equipment

Talking to my husband the other day, as we were preparing for an outing, I referred to my daughter’s diaper bag as her “gear bag”. I didn’t think twice about it until he asked in confusion to what I was referring. This got me to thinking about how similar much of the equipment is between the two, and also reminded me that some things can actually cross over.

Following is a run-down of some of the items that are available for dogs and their corresponding children’s versions.

Poop bags / diaper disposal bags: We were shopping in a local department store some months ago, and had occasion to visit the pet department, followed by the baby department. While we were not looking for poop bags, I did notice them on the shelf. Then, in looking for diapers, we came upon the diaper disposal bags. The packages were nearly identical, with different label names on the top and – most interestingly – significantly different prices! My hot tip to all of my clients now is to buy dog poop bags in the baby section of their local department store.

To save money on poop bags, get them in the kids' department!

Kongs / “Baby kongs” – My friend’s blog turned me on to the fact that they do actually make feeding toys for babies! We all know that both children and dogs need plenty of mental as well as physical stimulation, and feeding toys are often a great way to achieve this mental stimulation with dogs. For the kids, the feeding toys are more about management (i.e. not spilling cheerios all over the floor), yet they will still spend plenty of time trying to figure out how to get their treats.

Toys – We all know that children’s toys and dogs’ toys are similar. I have clients who buy children’s toys for their dogs on a regular basis, and I have personally given dog toys to my daughter that we have won at dog sports competitions. (Actually, I tell her that they are from whichever dog won them.)  And when it comes to safety, we look for similar traits: no removal parts that may be easily swallowed, non-toxic materials, and no sharp edges.

Dog toy? Child's toy? Which is which?

Sports classes – The inspiration for this group came at an agility trial, when I met up with another mom from my daughter’s Little Gym class. After we recognized one another, we got to chatting about classes and realized that not only do we train with our children in the same class, but we also trained at the same facility with our dogs. For either class, we each have our gear bags with all the relevant equipment, including drinks and treats.

Crates and cribs – not surprisingly, the name of this group is also an area where dog equipment and children’s equipment can be very similar. At our first flyball tournament after Shelby was born, I walked into camp and asked “where should I put Shelby’s crate?” in reference to her pack-and-play.  Many of my dog mom friends who later had children also similarly refer to their children’s cribs and travel equipment.  And after all, I’ve yet to meet a dog person who does not have at least one photo of their child happily in one of their dogs’ crates!

Shelby loves hanging out in the dogs' crates

I’m sure there are many other overlapping areas with regard to dog equipment and children’s equipment.  Do you have any to add?